Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Great Library Adventure Continues: Visiting Del City, Warr Acres, & Bethany!

Happy Pi Day! 

I have been continuing my Great Library Adventure of visiting all of the libraries in the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System, and it's been quite lovely! You know how athletes will sometimes talk about "runner's high" after completing a run? Well, I'm pretty sure there's an equivalent for people who visit libraries. "Bookworm's high" would totally explain why I have been experiencing an adrenaline rush when walking up to many of these libraries. It could also explain why, the other night as I drove away from a library, I was singing "I LOVE THE LIBRARY! I LOVE THE LIBRARY!" at the top of my lungs. 

Anyways, please allow me to tell you about some of my latest travels across the Metropolitan Library System. So grab a piece of pie (if you're giving up sweets for Lent, quiche or a meat pie is totally acceptable) and join me! 



The afternoon sky was bright blue and the sun was shining as I eagerly drove up to the Del City Library. 


My first impression was that I loved the location: right next to the highway (so very easy to access!), on the edge of a lovely-looking neighborhood, and the library building was adjacent to some kind of community center and park. Part of the park was dedicated to veterans, which I thought was awesome. As I walked towards the building, I found that there was a covered courtyard/breezeway area, which seemed like it would be a really nice place to hold outside events. 


I walked into the library and found that it was a medium-sized room with attractive displays scattered around, displaying various books. The children's area was small, but it was near the door, which I thought was awesome, because it could help keep children entertained immediately. 

I saw the blue logo of the Metropolitan Library System, and pulled into the parking lot, awed at the sight of the Warr Acres Library. 


It looks like a lodge I would find out by the woods, I thought. Walking in, I discovered that while it was larger than the Del City library, the room still wasn't ginormous-but there was lots of space and displays of books. One of the features which jumped out at me was how the artwork was displayed. At many libraries, artwork done by local students will be arranged in some area of the library-at Del City, drawings or paintings done by elementary students were hung on the ends of the bookshelves. Here, there was an actual board towards the middle of the library with artwork on both sides, which I liked-I thought it made the local art pieces more of a prominent feature and focal point. 

I loved the angles of the bookcases and center
station of the library. It created a nice change from
grid-like setup that I often see in libraries. 
Also, as I walked around the library picking up books, I stumbled across an amazing area: In the corner of the library, there was a stone fireplace area with reclined chairs in front of it. It looked like a scene where I would expect to see an old-fashioned family relaxing with some sewing or whittling at their home in the woods before a roaring fire. As much as I wanted to take a picture, I did not, because there were several older-middle aged men relaxing in the chairs reading newspapers. So just picture it in your mind! 

After oohing and aaahing over Warr Acres Library, I excitedly drove to the temporary location of the Bethany Library, where the branch is operating while a new Bethany library is being built! 

I admit that I had extremely low expectations when walking up to this library. What kind of location could they find for a temporary library? However, I was quite impressed when I walked inside. The room was bright, tidy, and larger than I was expecting-I would say that it was a little larger than the Del City library (or at least, it felt larger). The children's area was small and tucked in a back corner, but it was bright and looked quite inviting. The library was fairly bare-bones, but it was pleasant and there were nice displays to showcase different books which added a lot of color to the room. I liked this temporary location quite a bit, and the very friendly librarians talked with me about the plans for the new Bethany Library, which sound AMAZING (walking trails? Reading porches? Large windows? YES PLEASE! Check it out here)

The children's area!

My Thoughts on these Experiences: 

I just love the diversity and unique features of the libraries. All of the libraries I visited here were fairly comparable in size, and had many similar characteristics, but I loved how they each had a particular feature that stuck out at me-whether it was chairs around a stone fireplace or a children's area immediately by the doorway. Out of all of these, I do think that Warr Acres was my favorite, because the displays, architecture, and atmosphere all really jumped out at me as comforting and unique, but I enjoyed all of these libraries! I plan to visit more libraries very soon, so stay tuned to hear about more of my adventures! 

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